Temperate rainforests will soon have a new center in Juneau, Alaska. It is hoped that the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center (ACRC) will instigate new research and educational opportunities.
The center will be a collaboration between government agencies and local universities, including the University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, the Forest Service’s Alaska Region, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska Region, and the City and Borough of Juneau. The center plans to coordinate activities among the six agencies.
Aerial view of the tongass temperate rainforest in Alaska. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
“The three campuses of the University of Alaska Southeast reside in the Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world,” said John Pugh, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast. “I am very excited about UAS partnering to provide educational outreach related to the Alaska Rainforest Center and look forward to working with partners on educational and research opportunities.”
The center plans to provide both formal and informal education at the university and community school-level, in addition to professional training for working in temperate rainforests. Education and management training will focus on sustainable use of rainforest ecosystems.
“The center will be looking carefully at ecosystem functions because these functions will likely change as the climate warms over the upcoming years,” said Sandy Boyce, the U.S. Forest Service Alaska Science Coordinator. “Our work will help to inform the communities of southeast Alaska and their leaders about the speed and direction of these changes and prepare them for management and policy debates that will take place as the implications of these changes become clear.”
Debates arose just last month when the Obama Administration announced that it approved the clear-cutting of 381 acres of primary forest in Alaska’s Tongass rainforest, including eight miles of new roads. The decision upset many environmentalists who had hoped the new leadership at the U.S. Forest Service, including new Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, would place a moratorium on road building in the United State’s roadless areas.
(08/12/2009) Boreal forests in some of the world’s wealthiest countries are being rapidly destroyed by human activities — including mining, logging, and purposely-set fires — report researchers writing in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
(07/17/2009) The Obama administration moved this week to allow clear-cutting of 381 acres (154 ha) of primary temperate rainforest in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, reports the Environmental News Service (ENS).
(01/03/2008) North American forests are storing less carbon due to warmer autumns, reports a study published in the journal Nature by an international team of researchers.